It looks like the state of Florida and the Seminoles just might be reaching a deal that everyone can live with. Maybe.
This deal comes down to compromise.
From the looks of it the Seminoles would get to keep their exclusivity to blackjack and Vegas-style slots. But the pari-mutuels would get extended hours of operation, increased buy-ins at their poker tables and bingo style betting machines; there’s also the possibility that in the future pari-mutuels might get video lottery terminals as well.
Hopefully this would make everyone happy since the Seminoles would be getting their exclusivity. Having exclusivity is important to the Seminoles because the profits from their casinos are a very large chunk of the tribe’s livelihood.
The only hand up seems to be the video lottery terminals. The Seminoles want exclusive rights to those as well. But the pari-mutuels want them so that they have the feeling that they could compete with the Seminoles in terms of drawing a gambling crowd.
But a deal is going to have to be reached. The pari-mutuels are getting restless and the Seminoles are getting more and more irritated—both mostly from the three years it’s taken to even come close to a deal. And the state of Florida needs the income.
If this deal is agreed upon by the state and the Seminoles, it would put $450 million into the state’s budget. The money comes from licensing fees mostly. But Florida needs that money. Especially since the Seminoles’ contribution is allotted for education—and the money is badly needed for the state’s education programs and teachers’ salaries.
At this point we need to sit back, cross our fingers and hope that exclusivity to blackjack and slots is going to be enough for the Seminoles to agree.